Dunfermline Athletic

Woods will be no surprise

Friday, 7th Sep 2018

“I think that they will be good and I have said to the boys that we can’t go into the game just thinking that we are going to win. It won’t be easy.”

Pars player Aidan Connolly is the only member of the squad to have faced Boreham Wood and having played in the National League while at York City is ably equipped to earn his team mates about what to expect at the Meadow Park on Saturday. Aidan recalled:-

“I played against them at the very start of my time there. They were a good side, strong, quick and wouldn’t take them lightly down there.”

Aidan pointed to Boreham Wood making the League Two play off final last season as an indication that they are one of the better teams in the National League. Lots of money is pumped into that league with Adam Rooney’s decision to join Salford City, an obvious example.

“A lot of the players in League Two go down to National League because they pay so much money. The quality is just as good there as it is in League Two. That is why it will be difficult.

“The money is really good there because they are competitive to get up. If you go up you get more money obviously.”

Clearly Aidan doesn’t know what Boreham Wood look like this season but when he played them he remembers them as more footballing than physical.

“That was two years ago but I imagine if they got to the play off last season they will be pushing for the next step. I would expect them to have signed more players. I think that they will be good and I have said to the boys that we can’t go into the game just thinking that we are going to win. It won’t be easy.”

Boreham Wood and Sutton United are the first English sides to play in the Irn Bru Cup and clearly their Scottish opponents, Dunfermline Athletic and Airdrieonians, won’t want to let their nation down. Aidan commented:-

“If they take it seriously they will put out their first team. It is a new challenge, I doubt if many of the boys here will have heard of Boreham Wood and they might think they are like a junior team up here but it is not, they are a good side.”

The Pars will prepare properly, flying down on Friday afternoon and staying locally.

“It is a good set up, Arsenal train there, it is a good pitch, not a big stadium - it would be like Brechin up here. A lot of the teams down there have small stadiums but don’t think they will be easy. It is not like that and there are a lot of good players who play at that level.”

The Irn Bru Cup gave Aidan his only started for Dunfermline and he hopes that will start the second round too despite being a late sub in most of his first team appearances so far. It is no surprise that Aidan is disappointed that he has not played as much as he would have liked:-

“The system that we are playing just now maybe doesn’t suit me as much but hopefully if I get a chance I can take it.

“We started the season well in the Betfred Cup. We beat Dundee and the boys played really well against Hearts and so everyone had high expectations at that point. The last three games have not been as good. We have looked a bit all over the place.

“I think the manager will be going down there wanting to win because we have not won in three or four games. It won’t be about just giving boys game time.

“You always get spells in football where you get beat and you just have to try and get out of it. You need to work hard on the training field, we have a good enough squad.

“It is hard to say why it is not working now when it was before. Football is like that, football changes so quickly you can never relax because at any point you can be in or out of the team and like what is happening with. It winning just now.

“At the start it was all going well and you should be doing that every week. It doesn’t work like that.”

The last win came when Allan Johnston made eleven changes and fielded Aidan in a young team against Inverness Caley Thistle in the first round. Aidan claimed that no one expected them to win. “It was Inverness’ first team but we won so it was good.”

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